On July 15, 2012, President Obama signed an executive order to provide employment authorization and permission to stay for certain foreign nationals who entered the USA as minors. This order is known as “DACA” or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
What are some benefits of DACA?
Upon approval, the foreign national would be given a two year work permit. There are certain other valuable benefits that can accompany DACA including:
The end of an accrual of unlawful presence for foreign nationals who filed for DACA prior to turning 18.
The ability to request a travel permit (advance parole) and travel out and into the country.
The ability to request administrative closure of deportation proceedings pending against the foreign national.
The automatic stay (halt) of a final and outstanding order of deportation, the ability to obtain a social security number.
In some states, the ability to obtain a driver’s license or receive educational assistance.
Thus, DACA is a valuable program and all those who qualify should consider seriously, with the help of an office such as ours, whether to participate.
When will my DACA approval expire?
The first DACA approvals will begin to expire in September 2014. To avoid a lapse in the numerous direct and fringe DACA benefits, foreign nationals who were granted DACA must file renewal requests before the end of their current period. That expiration date is listed on the foreign national’s employment authorization card or Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
When should I renew?
The Government is encouraging renewal applications be filed 120 days before the expiration of their EAD. However, the government is warning that applications received before the 120 day mark will be refused or returned as prematurely filed.
While the government suggests 120 days prior to expiration, it will accept applications that are filed afterward. The government has stated no policy regarding applications filed after the expiration of the EAD, so it is generally understood that even those who file very late will be processed and accepted. Nevertheless, the gap in DACA coverage will result in other important gaps, such as a gap in protection against deportation or a gap in the right to drive or be employed.
DACA eligibility requirements
DACA renewal is a discretionary determination made by the government. In order to be granted, a foreign national must continue to meet the eligibility requirements of the initial DACA application, merit a favorable exercise of discretion, and show that he or she:
1. Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole 2. Has continuously resided in the United States since submitting their initial DACA 3. Has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Don’t take the chance of having your DACA application or renewal denied, and seek the assistance of a dedicated team of attorneys to help you determine whether you and/or your children are eligible to apply for an initial DACA or your first renewal.
Contact the Atlanta immigration attorneys at Antonini & Cohen Immigration Law Group to help you apply for DACA or renew your status
At Antonini & Cohen, we are dedicated to helping applicants successfully apply for DACA. If you are looking for employment authorization and permission to stay in the US, contact us to review your status and help you through the process. To schedule a consultation today, please call 404.850.9394 or click here to complete a contact form.